Proposal for Steering Committee Operations

Proposal for Steering Committee Operations

Perry Berman, a member of the Steering Committee, has proposed, for discussion, some points to govern the work of the new Steering Committee:

Roles of the White Flint Master Plan Steering Committee

             Prepared by Perry Berman for discussion purposes 

My suggested responsibilities for the Steering Committee:

1. Work as a group collaboratively with Planning Staff and Planning Board to craft a plan, to work to insure the Plan’s vision, and to improve the chances for desired development in the Sector Plan.

2. Act as a conduit between the Board and stakeholders, and provide the Board with either a community consensus or, as a last resort, a variety of viewpoints on broad policy and implementation issues, including land use, community protection, transportation, and infrastructure improvements

3. Meet regularly and with staff (if they are able) to review/improve key implementation issues including:

a.   Urban design guideline policies

b.   Legislative issues necessary for the creation of a development authority

c.   Review detailed master plan land use recommendationsd.   Review transportation and traffic assumptions and recommendations

d. “Fine tune” the TMX Zone to be used in White Flint

e.   Review the various fiscal impact studies prepared by staff and developers

f.   Develop a community protection plan for the surrounding communities

g.   Other duties which we feel will be necessary to accomplish our goals, and   other tasks that may be suggested by the Board/staff

4.  The Steering Committee (and subcommittee meetings, if necessary) should be public and minutes taken to ensure transparency.  Steering Committee members should be willing to participate in the subcommittees.

5.  Act as the advocate for the Plan, when it goes to the Council, Executive, State, etc.

6.  Participate in all Planning Board/Council work sessions (to be worked out)

7.  The Steering Committee should continue beyond approval of the Sector Plan to oversee execution of transportation and other infrastructure objectives.

8.  The members of the Steering Committee should appoint a Chairman and Co-Chairman, and should vote on all vote issues. Consensus on all issues is not required, but that remains our goal. Minority positions must be transmitted to the Planning Board/Council.

9.  The Steering Committee may use subcommittees to take advantage of member expertise and to expedite the committee’s work. The committee or subcommittees may also confer with recognized experts outside the Planning Staff in specific areas.

 The proposal has already sparked some discussion, with Committee member Paula Bienenfeld taking strong exception to Point No. 8 (chairman and vice-chair), and suggesting a continuation of the former Advisory Group’s “consensus” process instead. Paula also cautioned that Point No. 9 (use of experts) must conform to the standards of transparency.

 My own view is that these two positions are not inconsistent. Perry’s Point No. 8 (take votes) should be read in conjunction with his Point No. 2 (form a consensus, or, “as a last resort” put forward a variety of views).  If read together, and if the Steering Committee operates generally by consensus and only takes votes where necessary, these Points should satisfy both discussants’ views.

Barnaby Zall

Barnaby Zall


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